What Topics Are Addressed During Counseling & Therapy For Pregnancy?
For 1 in 8 couples, the conceiving process will become the most challenging aspect of pregnancy. However, for 1 in 2 pregnancies—even among women who regularly use contraception—the act will be unplanned.
Comprehensive counseling services for pregnancy issues can assist couples to cope with all aspects of the conception process—from fertility frustrations to deciding between “the big 3” (adoption, abortion, or parenthood), to planning for what comes next: the spectrum of physical and mental demands that accompany the gestational, peripartum, and neonatal periods.
More specifically, counseling services that address pregnancy challenges can assist expectant mothers or parents as they navigate the following common issues:
- Fertility Issues: Overcoming the emotional trauma and grief of infertility; Exploring treatment options to facilitate conception (in vitro fertilization; artificial insemination; fertility drugs; donor sperm/eggs; and reproductive surgeries) or alternatives to pregnancy (surrogates; gestational carriers; adoption; etc.); resolving relationship issues related to infertility (disagreements about the cost of fertility methods; guilt; shame; depression; or eroding sexual intimacy)
- Unplanned/Teenage Pregnancy: Choosing between parenthood, adoption, or abortion (without receiving biased intervention); Informing parents, loved ones, and partners about the pregnancy; Planning for the unplanned, including living arrangements, prenatal care, single parenthood, supporting your child financially, interactions with judgmental family members or friends, and juggling your education or career with pregnancy; Coping with the emotional trauma of a pregnancy resulting from sexual assault
- Abortion Issues: Receiving accurate and unbiased information about abortion and reproductive health; Researching the legal restrictions for abortion in your state of residence; Handling the heartache of terminating a high-risk or ectopic pregnancy; Revealing your decision to abort the pregnancy to family, friends, or partners and coping with disapproval or stigmatization; Reconciling distressing religious or spiritual beliefs with the choice to abort; Healing from post-abortion emotions of anxiety, depression, grief, guilt, or shame
- Physical Health Concerns: From swollen feet and morning sickness to pickle cravings and fatigue, conquering the everyday physical demands of pregnancy; Seeking medical intervention and emotional support for more serious maternal health concerns (including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, placenta previa, high blood pressure, etc.) or maternal diseases (HIV, STI’s, diabetes, cytomegalovirus, etc.); Ensuring your newborn’s best developmental outcomes from infancy into adulthood (for low birth weight babies, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.)
- Mental Health Challenges: Coping with the hormonal high’s and low’s of pregnancy, including episodes of tearfulness and increased irritability, hunger, or sex drive; Managing stress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, PTSD, psychosis, sleep disorders, body image issues, or increased/decreased libido—all while preparing to expand your family!; Receiving qualified intervention for Postpartum Depression (the “mommy” or “baby blues”) or Postpartum Psychosis (post-delivery hallucinatory episodes or paranoia)
- Relationship/Parenting Issues: Navigating single parenthood or an unplanned pregnancy; Deciding how to proceed when your lifelong dream is becoming a mommy or daddy… but your partner desires a child-free existence; Resolving contradictory parenting views, financial struggles, or relationship, marital, and intimacy woes before your little peanut graces the world with his or her presence
- Outside Advice: Weeding out the sound advice from the “crap”; Handling the barrage of “expert” pregnancy and parenting advice from family, friends, and “well-intentioned” passersby’s as well as the pressures to conform; Connecting to resources for prenatal education, childbirth classes, or parenting skills development
- Preterm Labor & Miscarriage: Dealing with the emotional shock and added stressors (postnatal health complications, financial challenges, developmental concerns, etc.) of a premature delivery; Connecting to services or early intervention programs that promote optimal learning, behavioral, or interpersonal skills development; Coping with the grief, depression, guilt, or shame of a stillbirth, miscarriage, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
How Can Therapy & Counseling Services For Pregnancy Help Me?
Comprehensive, accurate, and customizable therapeutic services that address pregnancy and pregnancy-related issues can help expectant parents to:
- Cope with the emotional trauma of infertility, unplanned pregnancy, stillbirth, miscarriage, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Receive scientific, legal, and impartial information about abortion, adoption, parenthood, fertility treatments, surrogacy, or assisted reproductive technology
- Prepare for the physical and mental exertions of pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, fatherhood, or single parenthood
- Receive emotional support for maternal, fetal, or neonatal health concerns and resources for early intervention programs that foster intellectual, behavioral, and social development
- Manage prepartum, peripartum, or postpartum depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, psychosis, body image issues, sexual trauma or dysfunction, sleep disorders, etc.
- Resolve relationship or martial issues related to pregnancy or parenting (including financial challenges, sexual or romantic intimacy issues, or conflicting viewpoints about childbirth, parenting roles, discipline styles, etc.)
- Access alternative therapies that promote stress management, including mindfulness, meditation, guided relaxation, and psychotherapeutic yoga